Energy consumption of buildings is the second largest contributor of greenhouse gases in Central Saanich. To meet our Climate Leadership Plan goals, all buildings must use only renewable sources of energy, such as hydro and solar.
Is your house heated by fossil fuel?
You may be eligible for 0% interest financing to replace your fossil fuel air space heating system with an electric heat pump. Our program enables Central Saanich homeowners to fund up to $12,000 of the cost of getting off fossil fuel heating through an interest-free loan repaid on property tax bills over 10 years.
Learn more about the Heat Pump Financing Program
Home energy retrofit rebates
- Fossil fuel home heating: switch from a fossil fuel heat source (i.e., oil, propane, or natural gas) to an electric heat pump to receive some significant rebates (up to $12,400!)
- Wood home heating: rebates are available ($1,000-$2,000) to switch from wood as your primary fuel for heating to electric heat pumps
- Water heating
- Building envelope (insulation, windows and doors)
- Bonus offers for those who complete multiple upgrades
Canada Greener Homes (federal)
Free Home Energy Navigator Program - CRD
Free support service is available to help homeowners through their home (energy) retrofit journey. An Energy Concierge will be available to support you through your retrofit project to answer questions, give local and expert advice and help you navigate the complex world of home energy retrofits. For more information visit Home Energy Navigator, email email@example.com or call 1-866-381-9995.
Assessing your home
What can you do at home?
Draft-proof your home. Drafts can waste 5%-30% of a home’s energy. Try testing doors, windows and chimneys with incense. Where the smoke wavers, a draft is blowing in. To seal leaks, make or buy a “door snake” and caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows. You can also add small insulating covers underneath the wall plates of the electric outlets on outside walls, or adjacent to cold basements and crawl spaces.
Insulate your windows. Hang heavy curtains to keep the cold out and the cozy in, or keep the cool in and the warm out. An even cheaper solution is to apply insulation film, available at most hardware stores.
Reverse your ceiling fans. When fans turn clockwise, they push down the warm air that pools near the ceiling and circulates it through the room. Magic!
Replace furnace filters. Dirty filters restrict airflow, decrease air quality, and increase a furnace's energy demand. Replace your furnace filters at least every three months during the heating season or ask your landlord to. Better indoor air quality is a nice side benefit of this energy-saving tip. Also, consider switching to a washable filter, which will reduce waste and is more effective.
Heat or cool the people not the space. Keeping people warm (or cool) is much more efficient than heating a whole space. In the summer, give your oven a break and check out 5 other ways to keep cool. In the winter, put on a sweater and slippers. Use an electric heat blanket or hot water bottle. Drink hot drinks. Get cozy.
- Mind your thermostat or ease off your air conditioning. For every degree you turn down the thermostat in the winter, you can save between 1.5-5% of your heating or cooling bill. Mind the thermostat when you’re not home or are sleeping. A programmable thermostat will help you get efficient and consistent.
- Consider getting a heat pump. It will help regulate your home temperature year round and now is the time to check out BetterHomesBC.ca for a list of rebates available, provincially and even regionally (CRD). Did you know, Central Saanich has a rebate for residents switching from a fossil fuel heat source (oil, propane, or natural gas) to an electric heat pump; for a total of up to $3,700 in rebates.
I want to learn more about...
Find more information about energy efficiency for existing buildings here:
- The presentation Energy Efficient Homes and Rebates was hosted by the District of Central Saanich in September 2019 and delivered by CityGreen.
- What is an energy efficient home? Check out National Resources Canada to find out about EnerGuide home evaluations, home labeling and how to make your home more energy efficient.
- The BC Real Estate Association provides their list of incentives of a green home.
- CRD has partnered with your local library to provide a Climate Action to go kit, complete with tools to measure appliance electricity use, discover air leaks, measure lighting, tune up your bike and much more. The kits are available to borrow at local libraries.
Typical maintenance projects can be completed without a permit. Some examples are:
- replacing existing roofing material;
- upgrading existing windows (same size);
- repairing or replacing existing plumbing fixtures;
- painting, flooring or new cabinetry; or
- constructing a shed smaller than 10 sq. metres complying with the zoning.
Some larger renovations will require a permit. Below are some examples:
- building new or removing loadbearing or non-loadbearing walls;
- completing unfinished space; or,
- replacing entire exterior building envelope (cladding and windows);.
Check out the Building section for more details.
Solar technology has evolved so that it is now possible for consumers to create surplus energy they can sell back to the local utility company. Homeowners can install a solar-electric (photovoltaic) system that converts sunlight into electricity, effectively slowing down the utility meter and reducing utility costs. Larger collection units can turn back the meter enough that, during the day, excess power can be sold back to the utility. This is called net metering.
For more details, check out the BC Hydro Solar power and heating page and EnergyHub.org
What about rebates?
Currently, solar panel purchased are except from PST in BC, and the federal tax provision for clean energy was extended until 2025 (businesses, including farms, are allowed to depreciate the cost of their solar power system at an accelerated capital cost allowance rate of 50% on a declining balance basis.)